About the Ashurst Wood Neighbourhood Plan
What is a Neighbourhood Plan?
A new type of planning document, introduced in the Localism Act 2011, which allows communities to have a say in how their local area should develop. A Plan cannot stop development but can plan for growth in a positive way. The Ashurst Wood Neighbourhood Plan was prepared by a Steering Group made up of Councillors and residents, with the help of professional Consultants, following public consultations.
What is in the Neighbourhood Plan?
The Plan will shape the future of Ashurst Wood from 2015 to 2031. It contains policies covering: development in the parish (this includes housing); the local economy; highways, transport and communications; and infrastructure.
The Plan is divided into six sections. Parts 1 and 2 explain the purpose of the Plan, the process by which it has been produced and the planning context (national and local) that it is set against.
Part 3 provides information about Ashurst Wood, such as the history of the village, the environment within which it is situated, its population, housing, the local economy, the local transport infrastructure and facilities and the key issues facing the village.
The largest section of the Plan (Part 5) contains the policies which will inform future planning and development related decisions about Ashurst Wood. These policies are intended to ensure that we deliver the overall vision stated in the Part 4, namely:
"To preserve and protect Ashurst Wood's characteristics as a rural village, while at the same time ensuring that it remains a vibrant, safe, and welcoming community, and an attractive location for people to live."
There are 22 policies across the five specific categories of Countryside and Environment (4), Housing (10), Local Economy (4), Highways, Transport and Communications (3), and Infrastructure (1). In each case the policies are designed to meet a number of objectives.
The Plan explains the process followed in determining the number of houses to be built in Ashurst Wood between 2015 and 2031. It also identifies the following sites where development will be supported, and the criteria that any proposals to develop those sites must meet.
Land between 98- 104 Maypole Road
Mount Pleasant Nursery, Cansiron Lane
Willow Trees, Lewes Road
Spinney Hill, Lewes Road
Wealden House (EDF)
Wealden House (LIC)
2 - 4
2 - 4
The list of policies is as follows:
1 Protection of the Countryside
2 Preventing Coalescence
4 Recreation Space
5 Sites for New Homes
6 Land between 98-104 Maypole Road
7 Mount Pleasant Nursery, Camsiron Lane
8 Willow Trees and Spinney Hill, Lewes Road
9 Wealden House, Lewes Road (EDF)
10 Wealden House, Lewes Road (LIC)
11 Development within Built Up Boundary
12 Development outside Built Up Boundary
13 Design and Character
14 Affordable Housing
15 Ivy Dene Lane Industrial Estate
16 Village Businesses
17 New and Expanding Businesses
18 Brambletye School
19 Impact of New Development on Traffic
20 Parking Provision
21 High Speed Broadband
Appendix 2 lists supporting and evidence base documents that have helped to inform the plan preparation process. The main supporting documents to be read alongside the Plan are the Sustainability Appraisal, the Site Assessment Report, the Character Assessment and the report on Housing for the Ashurst Wood Neighbourhood Plan.
How can I read the documents?
Some documents are available on this website, or they can be read on request at the Village Council's office in Maypole Road.
How were residents consulted?
There were public consultation events in November 2012. A Residents' Survey was distributed in April 2013. A Scoping Report was published for consultation in December 2013. A further consultation event took place in February 2014 when information about possible sites for new homes was displayed. The first draft of the Plan was published for consultation under Regulation 14 of the Neighbourhood Planning (General) Regulations 2012 between 28th January and 11th March 2015. This was notified to statutory consultees, including East Grinstead Town Council, Forest Row Parish Council and infrastructure providers, as well as residents of the parish of Ashurst Wood.
The Plan was reviewed and revised to take account of consultation responses. It was then submitted to Mid Sussex District Council, and published for further consultation.
Examination and Referendum
The Plan was submitted to an independent examiner to check whether it met the legal conditions.
The Examiner's Report in March 2016 confirmed that the Plan was sound (with some modifications).
A Referendum took place on 5th May 2016. The Referendum question was:
Do you want Mid Sussex District Council to use the Neighbourhood Plan for Ashurst Wood to help it decide planning applications in the neighbourhood area?
505 electors voted Yes, and 72 voted No. The turnout was 38%.
The Plan was formally adopted, or 'made' by Mid Sussex District Council on the 30th June 2016. It now forms part of the development plan for the district.
Relationship with other plans
Planning decisions in Ashurst Wood are made with reference to national policy set out in the National Planning Policy Framework and to Mid Sussex District Council's District Plan, as well as the Neighbourhood Plan. Where there are conflicts between policies, the most recent one will be applied.
The National Framework and District Plan are more recent than the Neighbourhood Plan. The national and district housing targets are constantly being revised.
This means that new homes may be built even if they do not comply with the Neighbourhood Plan, if there are district or national policies that support them. In addition, Mid Sussex District Council's new site allocations document will allocate a site for new homes in Ashurst Wood.
In 2022, the District Plan is in the process of being reviewed and updated, and new site allocations for the district will be included.
Updates on housing allocations
Information about new homes in the village, including the Neighbourhood Plan allocations, can be found on the Major Applications page - link below.